Primary School in Lagos

Bukkie Opebiyi /

Children on their lunch break at Maryland Convent Private Primary School in Lagos, Nigeria. A group of kids are playing in the assembly area, screaming loudly and jumping around for the attention of the camera.

This was the primary school I attended for six years. I graduated in the autumn of 1983 and had not returned there until last year. Not a lot had changed and, surprisingly, I did not find the space small. Most of the other places from my past seem smaller but the school did not. The kids were so full of energy. I tried to capture this energy and movement with the picture.

This image is part of an editorial documentary I am currently working on in Nigeria. The project takes me back to every prominent landmark of my childhood through adolescence to early adulthood. I am looking at the rituals of modern and traditional life – how people live and work, what they do in their leisure time, what they believe in, how they celebrate – showing a more contemporary Africa.

I feel it is my duty to capture and preserve this for the future and for posterity. Africa is a beautiful continent and should be celebrating its culture in a world that is losing its identity.

mag cover This article is from the January 2007 issue of New Internationalist.
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